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catastrophic

[kat-uh-strof-ik]
See more synonyms for catastrophic on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. of the nature of a catastrophe, or disastrous event; calamitous: a catastrophic failure of the dam.
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Sometimes cat·a·stroph·i·cal, ca·tas·tro·phal [kuh-tas-truh-fuh l] /kəˈtæs trə fəl/.
Related formscat·a·stroph·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·cat·a·stroph·ic, adjectivenon·cat·a·stroph·i·cal·ly, adverbsu·per·cat·a·stroph·ic, adjectiveun·cat·a·stroph·ic, adjectiveun·cat·a·stroph·i·cal·ly, adverb

catastrophe

[kuh-tas-truh-fee]
noun
  1. a sudden and widespread disaster: the catastrophe of war.
  2. any misfortune, mishap, or failure; fiasco: The play was so poor our whole evening was a catastrophe.
  3. a final event or conclusion, usually an unfortunate one; a disastrous end: the great catastrophe of the Old South at Appomattox.
  4. (in a drama) the point at which the circumstances overcome the central motive, introducing the close or conclusion; dénouement.Compare catastasis, epitasis, protasis.
  5. Geology. a sudden, violent disturbance, especially of a part of the surface of the earth; cataclysm.
  6. Also called catastrophe function. Mathematics. catastrophe theory.
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Origin of catastrophe

1570–80; < Greek katastrophḗ an overturning, akin to katastréphein to overturn. See cata-, strophe
Related formscat·a·stroph·ic [kat-uh-strof-ik] /ˌkæt əˈstrɒf ɪk/, cat·a·stroph·i·cal, ca·tas·tro·phal, adjectivesu·per·ca·tas·tro·phe, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms for catastrophe on Thesaurus.com
1. misfortune, calamity.

Synonym study

1, 3. See disaster.

Antonyms

1, 3. triumph.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for catastrophical

Historical Examples

  • At seventeen such things are not embarrassing; they are catastrophical.

    Seventeen

    Booth Tarkington


British Dictionary definitions for catastrophical

catastrophe

noun
  1. a sudden, extensive, or notable disaster or misfortune
  2. the denouement of a play, esp a classical tragedy
  3. a final decisive event, usually causing a disastrous end
  4. Also called: cataclysm any sudden and violent change in the earth's surface caused by flooding, earthquake, or some other rapid process
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Derived Formscatastrophic (ˌkætəˈstrɒfɪk), adjectivecatastrophically, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Greek katastrophē, from katastrephein to overturn, from strephein to turn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for catastrophical

catastrophic

adj.

1824, from catastrophe + -ic. Related: Catastrophical; catastrophically.

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catastrophe

n.

1530s, "reversal of what is expected" (especially a fatal turning point in a drama), from Latin catastropha, from Greek katastrophe "an overturning; a sudden end," from katastrephein "to overturn, turn down, trample on; to come to an end," from kata "down" (see cata-) + strephein "turn" (see strophe). Extension to "sudden disaster" is first recorded 1748.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper